What age is too old to play tennis?

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Wilson Blade 9

Although many people doubt whether they should engage in intensive rallies later in life, tennis can be played at any age. Coach Marcin Bieniek explains how to successfully make this sport a part of your lifetime journey. 

Martina Navratilova

Tennis is a sport for all age groups

If you go to any tennis club, you can admire the view of people in different age groups running and hitting yellow balls. Young children are performing fun activities with the racquet in hand and developing passion for this sport. Competitive juniors are chasing every ball with the same intensity, pursuing their dream of becoming a Grand Slam champion. Adults take private lessons to work on their technique or they play local league matches to always compete against others. And then we also have seniors, who don’t focus on intensity but they still want to have fun, especially while playing doubles. These examples confirm that tennis can be successfully played by anyone and age shouldn’t be considered an obstacle.

Tennis offers many health, social and personal benefits

By having regular tennis experiences, we improve aerobic capacity, our nervous system is working more efficiently and we challenge our brain while solving problems on the court. We also meet other tennis passionates and have goals that allow us to improve ourselves in different areas of personal development.

However, some players stop playing tennis because of different reasons. Sometimes they see no improvement in their game and think it is because of age. Other times they get injured and believe that it is tennis that produces danger for their health. There are also players who find tennis too intensive and they look for other activities that don’t put as many demands on their body and mind.

It is never too late to improve

Some players mistakenly think that when they get older, they can’t significantly change their habits and that their level of performance will stay the same for the rest of their careers. That’s a false thinking. When you are 30 or older, you are already an adult with a lot of experience, wisdom and consciousness. Use these advantages to take your game to the next level in every month you continue your career.

Invest in private lessons with a professional tennis coach to get individual plan for your strengths and weaknesses. Start reading tennis-related books to analyze your tactical habits. Schedule an appointment with a sport psychologist to understand why you find it difficult to play up to your potential while competing for points. When you are older, you actually have more opportunities to grow because your personal and life situation are at a completely different level than many years before.

Reduce the risk of injury after the age of 30

If you want to enjoy good performance and health while playing tennis well into your 30s and later, you have to implement specific activities on a daily basis to make sure that additional intensive workout won’t increase the risk of unnecessary injury.

Exercise, don’t let tennis be your only physical activity

Playing tennis won’t get you ready for the demands of playing tennis. Tennis has a positive impact on body development but it also puts a lot of tension on different body parts. Sliding to the ball, loading one leg to generate power, turning upper body with backswing or performing internal rotation of the shoulder while serving are examples of specific body movements that players have to be able to repeat many times. It means that additional physical workouts are of utmost importance to strengthen specific areas of the body and to develop physical components that will help players train and compete safely.

Don’t skip proper recovery

The older the body, the more time it needs for complete recovery. You may be used to playing a lot of tennis, getting out of your comfort zone and always giving your best, but with age, you have to use your experience and understand that going for too much can be the wrong decision.

While planning your weekly schedule, you have to include specific recovery activities in your regular routine. Going to the massage, swimming or spending time in a sauna are simple but really effective strategies to help you regain your energy and allow your internal system to rebuild.

Conclusion

You shouldn’t look at your age as a limiting factor in your athletic career. Yes, there are some challenges and you have to adjust your habits, but there is still a lot you can achieve in tennis while being 30, 40, or 60 years old.

To learn more from coach Marcin Bieniek, join his on-demand video training program and get a 30% discount with the code WTBPROMO. Also, visit our Tennis Tips page to learn how to improve specific shots and skills, handle pressure, adapt your game to all surfaces and weather conditions, and much more.

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